MERCEDES-AMG is eyeing Porsche’s iron-clad grip on the top rung of the prestige performance car ladder in Australia.
Mercedes-Benz Australia head of corporate communications David McCarthy said AMG’s market share here is closer to Porsche than in any other market worldwide.
“It’s likely that Porsche will win for the year (2015) against AMG, but it will be only by a few hundred units,” McCarthy told us at the launch of the new Mercedes-AMG C63 S Coupe that goes on sale here around the end of March next year.
“When ultimately we get GLC 63, I think it will be interesting.”
With annual sales of AMG models set to top 4000 units for the first time in 2015, representing almost 13 percent of Mercedes’ local model mix, Australia ranks as the world’s highest AMG market as a percentage of overall sales.
Although the new AMG C63 Coupe is available elsewhere in the world in two states of tune, Mercedes-Benz Australia has opted, as it did with last year’s C63 sedan, to take only the higher-output, better-specified S version.
That means Australia gets only the full-house AMG C63 S, boasting 375kW and 700Nm, versus the base C63’s 350kW/650Nm.
The extra herbs shave a tenth off the 0-100km sprint time of the C63 S (3.9sec) and help keep the Australian model mix simpler and more desirable, McCarthy says.
“Our AMGs are equal to the highest spec Benz offers anywhere in the world,” McCarthy said.
“The C63 coupe hasn’t (previously) sold at the same level as the sedan, but I wouldn’t be surprised if the new one does.”
While pricing has not yet been confirmed, McCarthy indicated the Australian arm is hoping to peg its new super-coupe close to last year’s limited edition AMG C63 507 coupe, meaning about $160K.
If that is the case, and the coupe takes off to the extent the C63 sedan has, it may be enough to give premium performance rival Porsche some sleepless nights.
“I think the way that coupe looks will generate more sales. It’s a really cool-looking car. And of course if you’re looking at a C-Class-based AMG, you’ve now got a sedan, a coupe and an estate.”
McCarthy said Mercedes-Benz Australia has delivered about 300 C63 S sedans since the new model went on sale in June and is holding firm orders for “north of 200 C63 S coupes”.